In fact, the Citroen ace has just gone fastest in Qualifying for the season-closing RallyRACC-Rally de Espana.
Driving a Michelin-shod Citroen DS3 WRC, Loeb completed the 2.94-kilometre mixed-surface test in a time of 2m06.118s. It means he will be the first driver to choose his starting position for Friday’s mainly gravel stages when the start order selection is made in Barcelona this evening.
Evgeny Novikov impressed with the second fastest time in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, which is running on DMACK tyres. The Russian was 0.146s down on Loeb with Loeb’s Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen third fastest, 0.310s behind the legendary Frenchman.
Jari-Matti Latvala was the top factory Ford pilot in fourth, 0.518s slower than Loeb, with Petter Solberg next up in the second works Fiesta. Thierry Neuville was sixth quickest with Dani Sordo the leading Spaniard seventh at the wheel of a MINI John Cooper Works WRC.
Ott Tanak, Mads Ostberg and Martin Prokop rounded out the top 10 in their Fiestas. World Rally Car newcomers Hans Weijs and Jarkko Nikara were 11th and 12th quickest respectively.